Oil for Honda Minivan

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Apr 21, 2003
Well, I finally put a crowbar in my wallet and bought a 2003 Odyssey. Sweet van, hopefully picking it up later this week. Of course now comes the question - what oil? It has the 3.5L 240HP SOHC V-6. Given how much they charged for it, I need the engine to be the last thing that goes, like 15 years from now [Big Grin] Here's my idea: Run two 3750 mile intervals with the Honda 5w-20 oil to get things seated nicely, then switch to "real" synthetic and go 7500 mile/1 year intervals thereafter. I know that only analysis can confirm this plan, but I figured I'd get a "gut check" first. Has anyone actually seen the 0w-20 Mobil1? I was considering using that if I can find it to please the warrantee lawyers in case of a meltdown. I haven't gotten the van yet, but if the owner's manual allows 5w-30 maybe I'll just use Mobil1 5W-30 since it's so easy to get and is pretty close to 20wt anyway. Can any Honda owners out there tell me what your book says about 5W-30 vs 5W-20? Thanks!
Pretty much the same motor as the wife's MDX which calls for 5w20 only both on the oil fill cap and manual. I suspect that would be the oil for that van as well. Most Wal-Mart has the 0w20 @$4.77. On the MDX, I'm going to run the same 3750k miles 2x on Honda dino, then switch to the M1. Good Luck
My Wal-Mart now has the Mobil 1 0w20 (as well as the 0w40, but they no longer carry the 0w30). Given what we've seen in pics of OEM filters that have been cut open, I'd run the factory oil no more than 500 miles before I'd dump it. Run the next batch of Honda oil 2000 miles, and then go to Mobil 1. Also, keep in mind that many of the Honda filters are made by Fram and are typical Fram junk. I'd use a Wix/Napa/Carquest or Bosch/SuperTech/STP filter if it were mine.
With my second kid on the way, I will be picking up a new Odyssey this summer because I know it will out last me. I am splurging on the EX-L, but am driving it until 200K miles knowing I need to do nothing but regular oil changes at the dealer and the 30/60/90... services. I don't think a Honda has ever had a "meltdown" unless an oil pump went bad or such. You could take it to the dealer ever 5K and have them change it for $20 and you will end up selling that van WAY before any oil lubricated parts ever "wear out" if ever with regular oil changes. Boy, they really don't deal much on these vans. :>(
We just got a new Honda and noticed the 7500 miles between oil changes. I wouldn't do it. I'd stick to the traditional 3 to 4K changes. I'm sure I'll catch h@ll on this, but you'll get just as good results if you stick with a good dino and change every 3 to 4K. I use Quaker State 5W-20 with Purolator filters. I'm fixing to do a uoa on this oil, as I'm not crazy about QS. However, I am giving them the benefit of the doubt because of their 10 year/250K warranty, which I thought was pretty impressive and, like you, want the car to last for a long long time. Some on this board say the warranty is junk, but I've read it over and over and it seemed pretty straight forward. Keep reciepts, change oil and other stuff like the manual says, if the engine fails from any type of lubrication problem, they will replace your engine. There is a member by the name Johnny here that is actually a Pennzoil or Quaker State rep (they are the same company now) and says they have, on occasion, paid out claims from oil failures. I don't know, peace of mind for me. I know through looking at voa and uoa, that the Pennz. 5W-20 has lots of moly in it. A good thing. If the QS doesn't have a good dose, I'm running back to Pennzoil. I look at it this way, especially from a reliable car manufacturer such as Honda, if they say use a 5W-20, then I'm using a 5W-20. They have went to considerable lengths and expenses testing this oil that they are very confident that this oil will hold up and perform well enough to maintain their reliability record and reputation. That's worth something to me. Anyway, my .02 [Cheers!]
Matt, I'd run the Mobil 1, 0w-30 after break in with petroleum oil. It will probably shear down to a heavy 20wt after 7500 miles, so that will keep Honda satisified. [Wink] The Mobil 1, 0w-30 and 5w-30 are pretty thin to begin with, so I don't see any reason to use the 0w-20 to gain perhaps 1% in fuel efficiency. I'd be more concerned about bearing wear if you want to get 15 years out of this motor. TooSlick
Thanks for all the advice. Not positive what I'll do yet, but I'll probably go with M1. If they allow XW-30 weights per the manual, I'll go with 0 or 5W-30 and a Wix/NapaGold filter, otherwise I'll go 0W-20 for warrantee. I think conventional oils are probably "just fine", esp for my reasonable driving, but if I can safely go 7500 with a full synth it's worth it to me. I'm sure at some level deep down I am being unduly influenced by advertising but I'm OK with it. I can't imagine having problems with Mobil1 in 7500 miles/1year. It will be our only car so I think we'll get it warm often enough. Thanks for all your advice!
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